Dear Abby: After being in a four-year relationship with an alcoholic who was emotionally, verbally and at times physically abusive, I got out. I have moved back with my parents to save money so I can get my own place. When I told my mother about some of the incidents that happened, she said, “I know how you can be.” My father seemed more supportive – until recently.
My ex has a son I grew close to, as did my parents. Last week, I found out my ex had contacted them and his son will be coming here for a visit. Abby, I don’t want my ex to know anything about my current life! I’m afraid he’s trying to manipulate and torment me while I try to move forward.
I feel hurt and angry at my parents for not respecting my feelings. I can’t seem to get through to my mom, and Dad just looked at me and said, “Well, YOU’RE the one who stayed for so long!” I don’t know if I can forgive them for this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
– Hurt Daughter in Massachusetts
Dear Hurt Daughter: I’ll try. When people are attracted to – and stay with – a partner who is emotionally, verbally and sometimes physically abusive, it’s sometimes because there was dysfunction in their upbringing. You don’t say how long you have been staying with your parents, but if there is no alternative, you need to stick to your plan and stay until you have enough money to rent a place of your own.
When the boy arrives, greet him warmly and spend as little time there as possible. Give him no information about your work or your social life other than to say you are doing fine and are very happy. And as soon as you have enough money to establish some independence, get out of there.
P.S. If you haven’t already joined an Al-Anon group, I recommend it. Attend some meetings before the boy arrives, and don’t keep that a secret while he’s there.
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